Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Maybe Don't Break The Law?

I'm actually a bit negative about red light cameras in general. Lights can be mistimed, so that yellow lights are too short, and sometimes the safer thing to do with a split second judgment call is actually to blow through the red light. All about the safety, not about the punishing people randomly, and I do think human judgment can, at times, have value in these situations for preventing accidents.

But man do people whine about red light cameras. Oh my god, they raise a lot of money! Maybe that suggests that a lot of people are, you know, driving illegally? And blowing through a red light or even just going a little bit over the line, assuming it's clearly marked, aren't harmless behaviors that The Man has made illegal just to harsh your mellow. Even if machine enforcement can be a bit flawed, it's probably less flawed than the lack of enforcement which has trained so many people to believe that it's their right to drive however the hell they want and write outraged newspaper columns about the ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLAR fines people get for likely engaging in extremely dangerous behavior with a two ton hunk of metal strapped to their bodies.
Since 2007, red-light cameras have transformed dozens of ordinary street corners in the nation’s capital into moneymakers. Every time a motorist passes the “Don’t Go” sign, the city collects $150. With just 42 to 48 cameras in place, the city has made out like the grubby little top-hat guy from Monopoly, raking in nearly $86 million since fiscal 2007, AAA says. The District’s fine has bite, too, compared with $75 in Maryland and $50 in Virginia, AAA says.

How about you just don't go? Jeebus.